Surfing in from across the Atlantic on a wave of hype that's been swelling since the release of the band's second album, We Are Your Friends, U.K. darlings Simian traffic in pretty much the same kind of willfully "eclectic" pop that landed the Beta Band and Badly Drawn Boy on American shores.
English music press hyperbole aside, however, here's the real skinny: Melodically, Simian draws from the same trough of influences as virtually any guitar band you'd find making noise in a Camden Town pub on a Saturday night: Lennon-led Beatles, Kinks, Small Faces, and a smattering of prog rock and Pet Sounds to justify the cost of those reverb pedals. But the rehash is buoyed by just enough techno-dabble to make the familiar sound fresh -- the rhythms occasion some happy surprises, and the whole deal is ladled out with more jubilant energy than anything since the days when Phantom Planet seemed fun. Simian's best tracks, such as "La Breeze" and "When I Go," are stupidly irresistible electro-skronk hoedowns faced with sunny synths and harmonies and wired guitar hooks that cut a little bit deeper than they have any right to do.
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